In the JRFF forum, ref (a.k.a. ref1 here) says, about the possibility of me appearing on Ron Wieck’s show:
I think she will be the toughest opponent as of yet. Dylan & Jason were easy, Fetzer… crazy. Diane has good argumentation, she is thorough and polite, it’s not going to be a walk in the park like dismissing some “no plane” or Loose Change claims. She’s by far the nicest truth movement representative I have ever had any interaction with. And she seems sincere. Although we very much disagree on almost every topic.
Thanks for all the compliments. But I’ve decided, as per my initial reaction, that I’m not yet ready to participate in a televised debate because I’m too new to the 9/11 Truth movement and too new at studying various topics pertaining to the events of 9/11. (I’ve been at it only since this past summer.) There are too many topics I haven’t yet researched in enough detail – even regarding just WTC 7 (to which the proposed debate would be limited) for me to participate adequately in a televised debate about it.
I’ve been told before that I already have good debating skills, at least in writing. (Back in November, Pat Curley told me, “Diane, if you don’t drop out of the Truth Movement you scare me greatly because you’re already better at arguing the case reasonably than anybody I’ve come across.”) But that’s partly because, in an online written debate here on this blog, I have the option of doing online research on the fly. Obviously I don’t have that option in a televised debate. In a televised debate, there is no substitute for being thoroughly on top of a wide range of facts. I’m just not there yet.
I could perhaps be adequately prepared for a televised debate confined to the topic of WTC 7, in one month from now, if I were to spend all my spare time during the next several weeks doing detailed research on WTC 7. However, upon taking a more realistic look at my schedule, I realize that I have too many other things I need to do during the next month.
Furthermore, as far as 9/11 research is concerned, there are other topics I think are more important for me to be focussing on right now, such as reviewing a draft of a paper someone has written critiquing Bazant. (The paper will be submitted to a mainstream scholarly journal, so this is very important. Although I’m not an expert on all the topics touched on by the paper, I’m at least good at catching math errors and misapplications of basic laws of physics.) Also there are some very important recent news items (e.g. involving Sibel Edmonds) that I have not had enough time to stay on top of. And then there’s the New York 9/11 Ballot Initiative and the politics surrounding same.
I met Ron Wieck at a diner this past Saturday. When I told him my concerns, given my newness to the movement, in contrast to Mark Roberts’s involvement in the issue as an official-story defender for at least the past several years, Ron suggested that I appear on the show in more of a questioning role than a debating role.
But, really, I’m not interested in appearing on the show except as a strong enough debater to strike a blow for the cause. And I’m just not there yet.
So, I’m now back to my initial reaction: I’d like to take a rain check on Ron’s offer. I’d like to keep open the option of appearing on his show in the future. At some point in the future, I might also be more “influential” than I am now, and Mark Roberts prefers to debate “influential” people.
On Saturday, I asked Ron to ask Mark how he feels about me. Mark (a.k.a. Gravy) replied in the JREF forum:
I had one email exchange with her about a trivial matter and haven’t read her blog. I’ll take a look at it later. I’m not aware of any influence she’s had or anything new she has to offer, but if you think she’s a reasonable representative, I’ll certainly participate. To be honest, since I don’t see the need for the show, I’m mainly interested in meeting Arthur Scheuerman, but as always I’m flattered to be asked.
The “trivial matter” is discussed here on my blog. Anyhow, Mark doesn’t sound like he would be terribly disappointed at me backing out of the show for now.
Ron (a.k.a. pomeroo) replied to Mark:
Then let’s consider the matter settled. We will tape two editions of ‘Hardfire’ on February 26 with or without a representative of the other side. If we have just Arthur and Mark, we’ll do the second show as a call-in. There’s a limit to the amount of time we can spend searching for someone in possession of a great truth who is willing to share it with the rest of the world.
Someone with the username T.A.M. wrote in that same JREF thread:
I think getting Diane, from what I have read here, sounds like a good idea…
1.She sounds reasonable, and mature enough to make the debate interesting and informative.
2.It will eliminate some of the truther whining that the video does not let them have a voice.
1. She is not a truther leader, so a lot of the movement will simply brush he performance off if poor.
2. With only a single guest for the TM, versus Mark, Arthur, and a bias host (despite his fair play), the truthers will still whine.
Further down on the page, DGM wrote: “Another con is she wants to limit the debate to WTC 7.”
Actually, the decision to limit the debate was Ron’s. I saw the topic limitation as a big plus, because it meant fewer things I would have to study in order to be adequately prepared for a televised debate. That’s the main reason why I tentatively accepted Ron’s offer.
DGM also wrote:
She is smart and I think she knows that going this way will lead to having to discredit eyewitnesses (sounds of explosions).
The eye-witnesses issue is one of those things I haven’t yet researched in enough detail. One of the central issues, as far as eye-witness testimony is concerned, is whether there were sufficiently loud explosive sounds, just before and during the collapse of WTC 7, to be consistent with controlled demolition using explosives. (I’m aware of denials by official-story defenders on this point, which I therefore need to research further. See also this thread in the Loose Change forum, and the referenced thread in the old forum.) Anyhow, if indeed it should turn out that demolition with explosives can be ruled out on that basis, then I’ll need to dig deeper into my other suspicions as to what might have been done to WTC 7. For now I’ll just say that if the fire observations in Appendix L – Interim Report on WTC 7 (PDF) in NIST’s June 2004 Progress Report are to be believed, I think they suggest arson, in addition to any fires caused by flying debris. But I’ll have to research that issue in more detail, too.
In the end she will likely pull the Kevin McPadden card, which as you say, you either believe, or do not (i am in the latter group, given his story changes dramatically based on his audience).
Nope. McPadden’s testimony looks questionable to me. (See this post of mine.) I’m not saying it’s necessarily false, but I wouldn’t want to rely on it as evidence.
Someone with the user name “nicepants” wrote:
Be sure to read the responses you’ve gotten from truthers explaining why they’ve decided not to show. I love the excuse they use that Mark isn’t qualified. If that was the case, it would be a slam dunk.
Actually, there’s a legitimate issue here. Because Mark apparently does not have a strong technical background (I once saw him say somewhere, “I’m just a tour guide”), he is likely to rely heavily on arguments from authority when discussing the central physical issues regarding building collapses. Hence any in-depth discussion about the central physical issues would almost inevitably have to veer off into a distracting debate about the significance of things like conflicts of interest, the politics of academia, and the methodological differences between structural engineering and nearly every other kind of engineering. These are important topics in themselves, but, if someone is just going to cling desperately to arguments from authority, as I’ve seen Mark do in quite a few posts in the JREF forum, this makes a real discussion about the central physical issues impossible. I’d much rather debate the central physical issues with someone who has had at least a year or two of physics in college and who has a strong recollection of basic mechanics, including the math involved. (P.S., 2/3/2008: Mark Roberts’s “I’m just a tour guide” remark can be found in here in the JREF forum.)
If I ever do a televised debate with Mark Roberts, I would prefer that it be a debate focussed primarily on issues that any intelligent layperson can research and discuss without having to cling desperately to arguments from authority, such as the air defense failures and the behavior of high officials on 9/11. But I am, at the present time, far from adequately prepared for a televised debate on those issues – even less so than I am, at this moment, prepared for a televised debate about WTC 7.
(P.S.: 2/9/2008: It turns out that Mark is indeed able to argue at least some physical issues directly. See the section # Mark’s mechanical arguments, and some other thoughts in my post Review of Hardfire debates between Mark Roberts and Loose Change crew.)
Various other remarks were made about me in another JREF thread, the one where Pat Curley initially suggested that I appear on Ron’s show. I’ve replied to some of those remarks here.
Later in that thread, someone with the username “Crazy Chainsaw” declared with a rhetorical flourish: “she does not know that the constants of the universe are against hter.” He didn’t get specific. He’s welcome to come over here and explain what he means in a comment here on this blog, as long as any rhetorical flourishes stay within my comment policy.
Crazy Chainsaw also says, “her only possible argument will be one of lack of knowledge.” No, it is certainly not true that my only argument is one of lack of knowledge, though I can see how a superficial reading of my blog might convey that impression.
CC also says that I rely on “the flawed science of Jones and Gage.” I do not rely on Jones and Gage. I’ve only tentatively endorsed Jones’s findings regarding thermite, on a time-will-tell basis. (I don’t know enough chemistry to judge it for myself, except to note that most “debunkers” have either avoided or distorted his central piece of evidence, the iron spherules found not only in Jones’s dust sample, but in the the U.S. Geological Survey’s sample too.) And I am aware that Gage’s presentation contains errors, though it also makes some very good points, in my opinion.
Speaking of which, an important thing I’ve been meaning to do for a long time and haven’t done yet is to write a detailed critique of Gage’s presentation and email it to him. I’ve already emailed Gage about some issues (as discussed in this post and the subsequent comment thread), for which he thanked me. Apparently he has subsequently made at least some changes to his presentation.
Anyhow, I’m wondering whether Mark Roberts would be willing to debate Jon Gold, the producer of the video “9/11: Press for Truth.” Gold has voiced a willingness to debate Mark Roberts in the Truth Action forum, where he has also mentioned some other “influential” people whom Ron Wieck might want to consider inviting on to future shows, on aspects of 9/11 other than the question of what happened to the WTC buildings besides getting hit by planes.
To Ron: Later this week I’ll post a review of your show with the Loose Change guys. I’ll then arrange to meet you to return your DVD.
I would appreciate it very much if someone here who posts in the JREF forum could post a link to this post over there.
(P.S., 2/24/2008: Mark Roberts has emailed me to tell me he has been researching “truther claims” only since April 2006.)